•Says for peace, stability south-east should produce Senate President, North-west Speaker
Juliet Akoje in Abuja
The National Unity Group (NUG) has called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu to zone the positions of Senate President to the South-east and that of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North-west zones of the country.
In a statement made available to news men in Abuja, yesterday, by its National Chairman, Dr. Omotayo Gbadebo, the group said, “this zoning arrangement would heal the mounting high political tension, end killings, kidnapping for ransom across the nation, entrench peace, reconciliation and stability in the nation’s polity.”
The Group explained that there was currently tension in the country as it was in 1999, when the military handed over to the democratically elected administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that adopting the 1999 to 2007 zoning formula would usher in peace and douse tension
“The scenario we are now is similar to what we had in 1999. Remember that because of June 12, the military decided to compensate the South West for peace to reign. Hence Alliance for Democracy (AD) was registered even when it did not meet up with the requirements and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deliberately picked a Yoruba man, Chief Obasanjo as its candidate and its vice president (Atiku Abubakar) from North East”
The group further stated that, “When the government was sworn in, the Senate president was given to the South East (Evans Enwerem/Chuba Okadigbo/Anyim Pius Anyim); Speaker of the House of Representatives was given to the North West (Salisu Buhari/Ghali NaÁbba/Aminu Masari), while deputy Senate President went to North Central (Haruna Abubakar/Ibrahim Mantu) and deputy speaker to the South South (Chibudom Nwuche/Austin Opara). The PDP national chairman (Solomon Lar) was from North Central.
“We are now saying in order to have peace, end stop the killings in the South East, North Central and compensate North West for its immense contributions to the victory of the APC in the last presidential election, let the Senate President go to the South East, Speaker of the House to the North West, while Deputy Senate President and deputy speaker be zoned to the South South respectively.
“Presently, there are mindless killings in the South East and agitations as it was in the South West then, let the party give them Senate President so that they can have a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project. For North West, it is the biggest geopolitical zone with the highest number of votes (2.9m) in the presidential elections, which is approximately 34 per cent of the total votes that gave the president-elect victory.”
“As such, you can’t abandon this geopolitical zone with seven states. Therefore, for fair play, equity and morality, North West should be given number four position for the zone to have a sense of belonging in the project Nigeria, while South East should be given number three.
“Anything short of number four for the North West will be morally wrong and it will be tantamount to rejection or non-recognition of the zone, which has contributed more than any other zone in the emergence of the president”
Furthermore, the Group said “We are urging the APC leadership and president-elect to as a matter of equity, fairness and stability of the nation, pay special attention to the appropriate zoning of principal offices and political positions in the next administration.”